Aug. 15, 2006
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's gymnastics team landed 10 individuals on the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches 2006 Academic All-America list while also ranking 14th in the country as a team in the 2006 Academic listings.
Coach Mark Sontag's team compiled a grade point average of 3.4162 last year, tops among all Huskie teams. His team was just outside of the top 10 as Boise State was 10th with a 3.4300 mark and North Carolina ranked 11th at 3.4193.
Only two teams nationally placed more individuals on the NACGC Academic All-America list as NIU claimed 10 honorees, each of whom compiled a grade point average above 3.6 in 2005-06. The minimum GPA to qualify for the list was 3.50.
"The girls have stayed focused on their academics throughout the year," Sontag said. "It's something we talk about every day. For us, it's like a fifth event - you've got vault, bars, beam, floor and classroom, and all of them are equally important. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work and what's nice is, it's a contribution by every member of the program."
Individually, the Huskies were led by a trio of student-athletes with perfect 4.0 grade point averages for the year in 2006 freshman Jennifer Naughton (Smithville, Mo.), junior Jody Yednock (West Chicago, Ill.) and senior Ashlee Williams (Liberty, Mo.). Williams was also honored as a second team CoSIDA Academic All-American At-Large choice.
Also earning Academic All-America status from the NACGC from Northern Illinois were Meghan Cronin (St. Charles, Ill.), Jessica Marston (Bloomingdale, Ill.), Allison Holysz (Hoffman Estates, Ill.), Brynn Dorsey (Oshkosh, Wisc.), Kelly Kramer (Long Lake, Minn.), Bethany Plapp (Sycamore, Ill.) and Jennifer Rice (Homewood, Ill.). Only Eastern Michigan (12) and Wisconsin-LaCrosse (11) had more individuals on the list than the Huskies as nearly half of NIU's 21-woman roster achieved Academic All-American status from the gymnastics coaches.
NIU is coming off a fifth-place finish in the 2006 MAC Gymnastics Championships. The Huskies return 19 letterwinners for the 2006-07 season, which opens Jan. 14, 2007.
-- NIU --